Do I need a lawyer? This is a common question many people ask after being seriously injured in a car wreck or other personal injury accident. In order to properly answer this question, I think it is helpful for an injured person who is wondering whether they need to hire an experienced Georgia injury lawyer to read the following actual post which recently appeared on a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer list-serve:
A potential client has $22,000 in medical expenses and needs surgery, but she just signed and faxed off a General Release to the other driver’s insurance company today for $25,000 policy limit on her own and she now wants to hire me to peruse the $100,000 in remaining available Georgia Uninsured Motorist Coverage Insurance.
The sad reality is that this “potential client” no longer has a case because she signed away her rights to collect the additional $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage that she was entitled to when she signed the release and sent it back to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It is almost a certainty that she did not consult with an attorney prior to signing the settlement documents. As most experienced personal injury attorneys in Georgia know, this could have easily been avoided by executing a statutory “Limited Liability Release,” which would have allowed the injured party to settle with the other driver’s insurance company for the limits of that policy and preserve all rights to pursue their own uninsured motorist coverage limits.
This is another disturbing case in which an injured party did not retain an experienced injury lawyer and “settled” with the insurance company. If the client had retained a good lawyer, they would likely have gotten at least $125,000 for their case and maybe more. Instead, she gets $25,000 and the regret of knowing that she could have gotten fairly compensated, but did not. Bottom line: Experienced lawyers who are knowledgeable in the area of law in which they practice almost always are able to justify the fee you pay them. Many times, they are able to recover an enormous amount more than the client could have recovered on his or her own. If your motivation for not hiring a lawyer is to maximize your recovery for a personal injury, the choice is clear that you should hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you. There are many potential pitfalls, even in what appears to be the simplest of cases.
Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.